How to Ground an Electric Fence
An electric fence can be an effective way to enclose a piece of property. It works by sending short bursts of low voltage power through the wire, Shocking any animals that come into contact with the wire. In order for this to work, however, you will need to install a ground wire that connects the fence charger to the earth. It only take a few minutes to install a grounding rod and connect it to the fence charger, and the fence cannot be used properly without one.
Step 1: Install the Fencing
Install the fencing. Stretch the wire snugly between each post, and wrap the wire once around each insulator you pass along the fence line. Make sure that line is free of weeds and other debris, which could cause shorts or fires. It will do you very little good to ground the fence charger if you don't have a fence to charge, and installing the fence wire correctly is crucial to the effectiveness of an electric fence.
Step 2: Position the Fence Charger
The charger for your electric fence should be mounted in a sheltered location. It is not susceptible to freezing temperatures, but must be protected against water. If your charger becomes wet, it will short out at the charger, and power will not reach the fence. In general, try to place the charger as close as possible to the first fence post
Step 3: Drive the Grounding Rod
The grounding rod for electric fence wire should be around 4 feet long. Drive it into ground directly below the charger, or at the closest point where ground access is available. Drive the grounding rod at least 3 feet into the ground, or all the way in, leaving only 3 to 6 inches exposed above ground level.
Step 4: Connect the Ground Wire
For a grounding wire, use an 8 or 6 gauge copper wire. Install the mounting bracket to the grounding rod. Insert one end of your grounding wire into the connector and tighten the set screw. Insert the other end of the grounding wire in the mounting bracket on the fence charger, and tighten that set screw as well.
Step 5: Check the Fence for Shorts
Once the fence has been properly grounded, turn on power to the fence charger. Even if the charger indicates everything is working fine, inspect fence anyway. Using a fence tester, check the fence wires at each post to make sure that power is reaching to that point. Remove any branches or weeds that have grown up in the fence path and could cause an electrical short later.
Step 6: Passing Contact Points
There are some instances where you are not able to run the fencing without making contact with some grounded object. When this happens, use a piece of ordinary garden hose with the wire fencing threaded through it. The rubber with act as an insulator, and the fence will work properly.